Reporting Peter Haskell
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — If you’re a Jets Fan, Times Square was the place to be Thursday night.
Well, except if you’re the mayor.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the Jets hosted a rally on Broadway between 42nd and 43rd streets in preparation for Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The iconic Times Square Ball was illuminated green & white in honor of their trip to the AFC Championship Game.
About a thousand fans all dressed in green attended the rally in anticipation of Sunday’s game. However, elation quickly turned to frustration when Bloomberg took the stage. Chants of ”J-E-T-S, JETS! JETS! JETS!” quickly turned to “PLOW OUR STREETS,” 1010 WINS’ Al Jones reported.
Fan giveaways, including Jets Playoff Rally Towels and Foam Fingers, helped to get the crowd back in good spirits.
In addition to Bloomberg, Jets owner Woody Johnson, General Manager Mike Tannenbaum, safety Jim Leonhard, nose tackle Kris Jenkins and the Flight Crew cheerleaders were all on hand to get the fans pumped up for Sunday.
“It’s a great year,” Holbrook resident Kurt Paschke Sr. said. “We’ve been waiting for this year.”
Along with millions of Jets fans celebrating Sunday’s win against the Patriots were a father and son duo from Long Island. The Paschkes created the Jetsmobile as a tribute to their favorite team.
“People are always taking pictures, honking, waving, everything like that,” Kurt Paschke Jr. said. “It’s a great year to have a bus like this.”
The Jetsmobile is a bit too delicate to drive the 400 miles to Pittsburgh, so it’s staying on Long Island, rallying fans on home turf like it has for years.
“I’m always proud to be a Jets fan, so win or lose, always green and white,” Kurt Jr. said.
If you weren’t able to make it to the Times Square rally, don’t worry — there will be another one Saturday at its practice facility in Florham Park, N.J. Fans will form a human tunnel to send Gang Green off to play the Steelers on Sunday.
Florham Park Police Capt. Robert Treiber said last year’s send-off drew between 4,000 and 5,000 people. Treiber said he expects at least that amount this time.
Motorists planning to use the Park Avenue-Columbia Turnpike corridor should find alternate routes between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday.
The winner of Sunday’s game will play either the Chicago Bears or the Green Bay Packers in the Super Bowl on Feb. 6 in Dallas.
Did you attend Thursday’s rally? Will you be attending Saturday’s rally? Let us know in the comments below…
The Associated Press contributed to this story. Copyright 2011